On the weekend of November 2-3, 2002, 69 delegates from 14 Shorinji Kempo Branches in Canada, the USA and Japan gathered in Toronto for the 2002 Toronto Gasshuku. Branches represented included Alabama, Alberta, Ann Arbor, Atsugi, Caltech, Chicago, Delmarva, Mount Diablo, New York City, San Francisco, Seattle, South Oregon, World Bank and Yokohama Medical School.

The event was led by Hiate Sensei (Seihanshi, 7th dan) of Atsugi Branch, Japan. Hiate Sensei has been a Branch Master for 30 years. In addition to those duties, Hiate Sensei is also a Shorinji Kempo Headquarters Instructor (Hombu Shidoin), a WSKO Instructor and is the Vice-Chairman of the Kanagawa Shorinji Kempo Federation. Toronto Branch has been fortunate to enjoy a long bond of friendship with him.

Hiate Sensei is known for his speedy and sharp technique. True to form, he was able to demonstrate techniques very effectively with a minimum of effort against the much larger North American kenshi. In his lectures, Hiate Sensei covered topics such as the importance of building En or interpersonal connections and the importance of leading a balanced life. We owe a special debt of gratitude to Eastwood Sensei for his insightful translation of Hiate-sensei's teachings.

Hiate Sensei teaching

Hiate Sensei shows Juho technique

On day one of the Gasshuku Hiate Sensei focussed on teaching the dan grade delegates, on day two the kyu kenshi and beginners. It was valuable for everyone to experience his instruction personally during the event.

Hagata Sensei of Mount Diablo Branch filled in for Hiate Sensei with the dan grade kenshi on day two. Everyone was very impressed with his excellent technique and teaching style.

Hagata Sensei teaching

Noda Sensei (Alberta), Dolce Sensei (Ann Arbor) and Ohashi Sensei (NYC) also made excellent teaching contributions to the Gasshuku.

On the evening of November 2 there was a dinner/reception at the El Rancho Latin Nightclub in Toronto. We enjoyed the chance to relax after hard training and also having a chance to forge new friendships with delegates from other Branches.

Toronto Gasshuku teaching staff

We look forward to seeing you all again at the next seminar.

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